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July 28, 2014

Around the world in 80 Lumias: Romania

“You have to feel the culture, the people, to truly understand Romania” says our latest Around the World in 80 Lumias guide, Andrei Mihai Cristian.

However, if you don’t have the opportunity to do that right now, don’t despair. Thanks to Andrei and his stunning photos you can get a tantalizing taste of this beautiful eastern European city from the comfort of your own home. The 28-year-old “designer by mind and photographer by heart” describes the capital city as a challenging town with a lot to offer in terms of photography.

But Bucharest, with its optimistic people and old architecture, is only a very small piece of what Romania has to offer. From the Carpathian Mountains to cities such as Sibiu and Brasov, Romania has tons of jaw-dropping sights just waiting to be explored and photographed. But don’t take our word for it. After we’ve heard more from Andrei, check out the fantastic photos below to see for yourself.


How did you get into photography?

Actually, about three years ago, I started to get serious with photography. Of course our relationship goes way back, as I was taking pictures anywhere, anytime, but at a certain point I said to myself “I can achieve many great things by exploring this form of expression”. I knew how to manipulate/retouch/edit a photo, so how hard could it be to take it, right? So I started studying: bought my first DSLR with a fixed 35mm F/1.8 lens and went out “into the wild”, trying to apply all the techniques I’d learned from books and workshops. Soon I became aware that the only way to overcome my high expectations was to be patient and shoot from the heart. Take little heart steps and the results will come. When you realize that photography is a way of life, not a must do, you will succeed.

What do you like best about your Lumia?

Well, I am a proud owner of Nokia Lumia 1520. It’s a phone that really combines all the great things that you can expect from a personal day to day companion. It has an impressive screen, strong battery performance and a great camera. I switched from an iPhone 5S to this phone because of my obvious passion for photography. I love shooting with the Lumia 1520 because it has this way of making me feel always in control and I can rely on it in every situation. It’s very fast and responsive. Nokia has done a fantastic job with the Camera App, giving me the opportunity of freedom, intuition and confidence that I couldn’t find on any other mobile devices. And that’s not all. The Nokia Storyteller is a neat way of geotagging every shot and reviewing it later on. That way you can keep a closer connection with the places and moments you have visited and captured.

Where in Romania do you like to shoot photos most and why?

Mostly I like shooting on the streets of Bucharest. It’s all about the people. I am a sociable person and I like being able to freeze that unique moment when people are involved, to take part in the photography process. But I admit that I also like the relaxation of a beautiful nature view. As a photographer I am always in search of something exciting, and to be honest I feel much more creative and loose with the Lumia 1520 than with a professional camera.

What are your 3 top tips for shooting awesome Lumia photos?

First of all, let go of any constraints. Think of yourself not as a photographer, but rather a student that studies photography and always wants to learn. Shoot from the heart.

Second: be more than a simple observer, be a part of the picture. Practice is the key to success. Take your time with a photo when it’s the case. Practice different angles and settings on your device. You have manual controls so take advantage of that.

Third: think outside the box, and most importantly, use all the tools at your disposal (filters, apps like Nokia Creative Studio, Fhotoroom, Fotor-Photo Editor, etc.) to achieve your inner satisfaction. Remember you are taking pictures because that is what you desire, that’s what makes you feel relaxed and joyful. If you are pleased with a photo the rest will come.


01 – “Autumn in January” – This is the first photo I shot after buying the Lumia 1520. It was a beautiful day in January and I wanted to get some fresh air at a local park, called The Botanic Garden. It’s a great place in Bucharest, filled with flowers and nature’s freedom.


02 – “A Triumph At Night” – Arcul de Triumf (The Triumphal Arch) is a monument located in the northern part of Bucharest, where on each 1st of December military parades are held beneath symbolizing Romania’s Great Union Day.


03 – “Night Symmetry” – This photo was taken in the Alexandru Ioan Cuza (IOR) Park, one of the most beautiful places of relaxation, near my home. It was a wonderful deep night as I recall, a well-received break after a hard day at the office.


04 – “Sunset At Morii Lake” – If you want to have a unique sunset in Bucharest you’ve got to try the Morii Lake, in the Militari district. Worth every second!


05 – “Bucharest Above” – I was assigned for a CISCO Cloud Conference in one of the tallest buildings in Bucharest, 25 stories high. So here I am at the 24th floor, checking in. I took a look at the big window – the view was great: the Bucharest center seen from above, animated, full of life. So big yet so small. I grabbed my Lumia 1520 and fired away – I just had to immortalize this view. Afterwards I realized that this is a great perspective to add a tilt shift effect.


06 – “A Little Bit of Color” – As I was walking through the center of Bucharest I saw this clown trying to make a living from entertaining the kids. It was a nice contrast with the buildings, contrast which I accentuated with the Nokia Creative Studio.


07 – “The Night Is Young” – This is a place in Bucharest called Regie, where all the students from different faculties live. As you can imagine it’s a great place for parties and fun.


08 – “Train of Life” – Taken on the Bucharest Subway. I adore this photo. I don’t know why. Maybe it’s the atmosphere, or maybe it’s the way life is: like a train that you need to catch in order to go on.


09 – “This is Romania” – This photo was taken on the Olt Valley and it represents the inner side of Romania: a land of beauty, a free land under sky.


10 – “Carpathian Sunset” – When you catch a sunset on the roads of the Carpathian Mountains you see pure beauty, a piece of heaven close to you.

We think that Andrei has managed to capture the essence of Romania beautifully in his photos. If you think so too, be sure to follow him on instagram. But first, let us know what you think of Andre’s photos in the comments below.